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Rich Women Entrepreneurs More Philanthropic Than Men, Survey Says

Half gave at least $10,000 annually compared with 40% of men. They also take more volunteer leadership positions.


Wealthy women business owners are more likely than their male counterparts to give at least $10,000 annually to charity. They're also more likely to participate in leadership roles when they volunteer for charitable organizations.

Those are just some of the findings from a just-released survey conducted by the National Foundation for Women Business Owners examining the philanthropic behavior of entrepreneurs.

The good news is that business owners, regardless of gender, are more likely than the general public to contribute money to charity. Nine out of 10 business owners (92% of women and 88% of men) contribute money to charities, compared with 70% of all U.S. households, according to the NFWBO survey.

Entrepreneurs are also active volunteers. Seven out of 10 surveyed (68% of women, 72% of men) volunteer at least once a month.

However, women are more likely to devote that time to taking a leadership position within the organization, according to the survey.

And while megabucks philanthropists such as Bill Gates grab headlines, the NFWBO survey found that wealthy women business owners are more likely to write a five-figure check than their male counterparts.

Fully half of women surveyed with assets greater than $1 million contributed at least $10,000 annually to charity, compared with 40% of men.

"High net worth women business owners are even more philanthropic than their male counterparts," said Doris Meister, chief executive of Merrill Lynch Trust Co. Merrill Lynch's Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Management helped underwrite the survey.

Other findings from the NFWBO survey include:

* Nearly 40% of men and women business owners have established programs to encourage volunteerism by their employees.

* Entrepreneurs don't like pushy solicitors.

* Business owners provided their greatest level of support to religious, community-service and youth organizations.

For more information about the NFWBO survey, "Leaders in Business and Community," check out the Web site at

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